Giving or Receiving?

To Give or To Receive

Is there necessarily a difference?


Tis the season of colored lights, snow, hot chocolate, and gifts. The holiday season is most people's favorite time of year because there is excitement and anticipation in shopping for gifts and receiving surprises. Christmas is notoriously overlooked as a holiday for presents, but maybe that's true. Not in the sense of material gifts but theoretical or non-tangible gifts. Of course there are presents involved on Christmas morning and throughout Hanukkah, but the entire holiday season is full of gifts that many don't even recognize.

If you were asked if you preferred giving or receiving what would you say? There is the pure excitement in opening a mystery gift but also sheer satisfaction in watching a loved one open a gift you picked out especially for them. I will admit, I love both. The holiday season is special and naturally includes gifts of some sort. The important thing to understand is that the gifts wrapped up all perfect and pretty are not the only gifts you will give or receive. Whether you know it or not, you will give and receive gifts throughout the holiday season to those around you.

A smile to a stranger, holding the door, kind words to a friend who needs to hear them, a hug to a family member, or a simple thank you to someone who does a lot for you. Even working hard on a final project or studying for a final exam that you end up doing really well on is a gift. If we looked at the holiday season this way, we would all see how immensely blessed and abundant our gifts are.

You don't need money to give gifts or make someone's holiday season bright. Just by being kind, genuine, honest, and friendly, you are giving gifts that cannot be put under the tree. This mindset gives me so much joy and satisfaction knowing that my holiday season will be full of gifts no matter if I unwrap anything on Christmas Day or not.

Hopefully this article brings you some peace and reassurance that just being yourself is a gift enough, and you could make someone's holiday season a little brighter just with your presence. The saying is cheesy, but it rings true for this occasion: your presence is a present. Believe it because it is true.

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Why You Should Go To The Barre

Keep your head high and your heels even higher!


After going back and forth trying to decide if I wanted to try a barre class, last month I finally decided to. And let me tell you, it is one of the best decisions I have made for not only myself but my body! I tried my first class at Barre N9ne in Andover, Massachusetts (with multiple location in Woburn, Somerville, and Danvers), and I truly don't think I could have found a better studio. From the moment you walk into the studio there is a great vibe and the instructors are so informative and caring. If you are in the area, I highly recommend Barre N9ne!

It Is A Full Hour To Yourself

My favorite part of barre is it is an hour to myself. No phone, no distractions, just working to improve myself with each set. When I go to the gym whether I am lifting weights or running on the treadmill at some point I am on my phone responding to a text or changing the song I am listening to. During barre, I don't even think about who texted me or what email I have to respond to. It is complete me time.

The BEST Core Workout

During barre, your core is engaged the entire time. Then, at the end of the workout there is 5-7 minutes of actual core workouts. This makes it one of the best core workouts because instead of just focusing on your core for a few minutes, you are engaging it throughout the class and then additionally at the end.

You Will Gain Strength and Definition 

A typical barre class is a full body workout and over time you will gain strength and see definition. It takes about 5 classes to start seeing results. By strengthening each muscle group, you are not only gaining definition you are also strengthening all muscles (even the ones that are often underused and underdeveloped).

You Will Become More Flexible 

After each muscle group worked on, you will stretch. This is something that is often overlooked because people don't want to take the time to stretch during a workout and save it until the end, or even not at all. The amount of stretching done in a barre class will improve your range of motion and help to reduce any risk of injuries.

Mind Body Connection

During class you will often hear your instructor say to "focus on the mind body connection". But, what is it? Well, when you focus your attention on the muscle you are working, you tend to work harder and more effectively. This then gives you faster results. When you then focus on that muscle group and stop focusing on all the background noise of your stressful day, or what you have to do after class, or that big test next week, you are really able to focus in and have the best workout.

Your Muscles Will Shake (In A Good Way)

Barre utilizes micro movements. Meaning, since you preform many reps of the same movement involving specific muscles in barre, you are then working your muscles to exhaustion. When your muscles are exhausted, they start to shake. If you aren't shaking, work harder!

Through every pulse, squeeze, and tuck enjoy your time during barre. I hope you give barre classes a try because I know I don't regret it and I know you won't either.

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